The first episode of the “Incredible Popeman” is about to go on sale in Colombia and shows the late Polish pontiff meeting comic book legends such as Batman and Superman to learn how to use superpowers to battle Satan.
“The pope was a real-life superhero, of flesh and blood,” said Colombian artist Rodolfo Leon, a non-practicing Catholic who has been working on the comic book for about a year.
Like any self-respecting superhero, the Incredible Popeman has a battery of special equipment. Along with his yellow cape and green chastity pants, the muscular super-pontiff wields a faith staff with a cross on top and carries holy water and communion wine.
In the comic book, the pope dies and is reborn with superpowers beyond the infallibility Catholic doctrine gave him on Earth.
Leon said he was saddened by the death Saturday of John Paul II, whom he admired. The artist worried some people might be offended by such a revered figure becoming a comic book hero, but said the reception so far has been good.
Apart from predominantly Catholic Colombia, the book will be sold in Poland and publishers in Mexico, Canada and the United States have expressed interest, Leon said.
He also plans to produce Incredible Popeman action dolls.
“He isn’t John Paul II any more,” Leon said. “From now on, he’s the Incredible Popeman.”